Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding ChronographJuly 18, 2023
Among the myriad releases we expect to see from Audemars Piguet this year, few are as anticipated as watches made to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Royal Oak Offshore. The Offshore has always stood on its own as the unapologetically burly, often weird, and even sometimes unwieldy sibling of the Royal Oak family. That is until today. With the announcement of the newest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph in black ceramic alongside a brand-new Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph GMT, two very wild and intense watches.
The newest Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph is, as all the concepts are, a particular beast representing the brand’s most futuristic watchmaking. Despite the “RD” name of the Research and Development watches from recent years, the Concept line has long been the main platform for Audemars Piguet’s R&D experimentation, and the new cutting-edge movement, the selfwinding Calibre 4407, is yet another example. Based on the integrated flyback chronograph movement calibre 4401, launched in a Code 11.59 in 2019, the new movement was modified to combine a flyback chronograph, split seconds, GMT function, and large date at 12 on the dial. The dial itself is quintessential ROC, with depth and sportiness from the rounded openings cut out from a single German silver plate, finished with sandblasted black PVD and polished rhodium-toned bevels. The hands and hour markers are white gold and the hour-markers, hands, counters, large date, and GMT day/night disc have a luminescent coating. The whole package is finished with red and yellow accents, respectively marking the chronograph and GMT functions for a pop of color.
All this comes in a new 43mm sandblasted titanium case with the Concepts collection’s first interchangeable strap system. And while it’s a massive 17.4mm size, you still have the ergonomics that make the Concept both visually compelling and what AP calls “surprisingly wearable,” albeit obviously very much a statement piece with a statement price of CHF 150,000. Only 150 pieces will be made each year.
The other release isn’t the first Tourbi-Chrono Offshore of its kind, but it comes with a bunch of design decisions that makes it feel more like the quintessential bright and colorful Offshore than previous iterations.
The new release cues from a 2021 Limited Edition offshore – including the caliber 2952 flying tourbillon flyback chronograph movement used in the Code 11.59 in 2020 – and cranks it up a notch. Instead of the previous relatively low-key design and color palette, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph has gone with a brand new, state-of-the-art ceramic case with anodized green inner bezel and green anodized inner bevels on the bridges supporting the dial and movement architecture on the front. At the rear is a black ceramic caseback, a first for the 43mm Offshore lineup, and glare-proofed sapphire on the back to admire the blackened 22-carat pink gold oscillating weight.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Flying Tourbillon Chronograph case is fully hand-finished with satin brushing and hand-polished chamfers. In addition to the flying tourbillon, you have two translucent chronograph counters punctuated by a black ring around each to read your timing measurements while not obstructing too much of the finishing on the movement underneath. Finally, the watch comes on a green rubber strap that matches the dial accents, with a super-slick quick-release system integrated into the case that allows you to switch to a black rubber strap that’s provided with the watch.